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15 Mistakes Young People Do During A Job Interview

15 Mistakes Young People Do During A Job Interview

Moving too much, fidgeting, talking too fast, speaking too slow, wrapping feet around the legs of the chair, lip biting, hunched shoulders, overwhelmed...etc. What comes to mind when you read these behaviors? Exactly! Someone who is stressed. These are some mistakes that young people make during a job interview. 

For every problem, there is a solution. But we have to become aware of these problems before we solve them.

Today, we are not only presenting and explaining mistakes; we are also providing solutions. Keep close attention to the coming points because they are going to help you nail your next interview.


We provide you with 15 mistakes made during an interview and their solutions:


1.Dressing like you are hanging out with your best friends

You might think to yourself, "what does that mean?". It means that you shouldn't enter the interviewer's door like he/she is a friend of yours. Well, you might be after you get accepted, but for now, you should consider dressing up professionally. Because first impressions matter.

How to make it right?

  • Use colors wisely
  • Wear one level higher than the other employees and one level lower than the employer.
  • Don't wear oversized clothes, instead wear clothes that fit perfectly as it makes you appear confident.

If you want more details, try this guide for men and women

As a general rule of thumb, "dress for the job you want, not for the one you have.

2.Not being Punctual

Imagine you are going on a date, you arrive first, and you wait for the other person. He/she comes late. What would you think? You will probably think that that person disrespected you, irresponsible, doesn't manage his time well. 

The interviewer would think the same if you arrive late. 

How to make it right?

  • Put realistic time estimates on how long things take you to complete. For instance, dressing up (professionally ;)), taking transport, and preparing needed documents such as a Resume (we will cover it later). These are things you should take into consideration.
  • Don't arrive too early. Coming ten minutes before the interview is good, but earlier than 15 minutes is too early.
  • Be ahead of things. Let's say that your interview is at 10 am, and you go out of your house at 9:45 am. You might get there on time, but what if there were crowded streets? What would you do? An excellent solution is always to double the time that requires you to get there. In this case, you go out of your house at 9:30 am( 15 minutes earlier than needed)

3.Bringing a Drink With You

Remember that strict teacher you had in the middle school who says NO to everything? Well, mainly, these teachers are challenging because they command respect. So does the interviewer! If you bring a drink or food with you, it shows disrespect. 

Well, probably you are bringing a drink for two reasons:

  • Water: in case your throat gets dry.
  • Coffee or juice: well, that's inappropriate.

How to make it right?

  • You can ask the interviewer if they can provide you with a glass of water.

4.Phone during interview

Imagine talking to your friend, and she/he is using their phone, and you have to repeat your words several times until they can catch what you said. What would you say? Maybe you might say that it's disrespectful. 

Well, then imagine what the interviewer would say. 

How to make it right?

  • Call your family and friends to tell them you will be busy for the next "x" hours. 
  • Close your phone / put it on airplane mode.

5.Zero knowledge about the company

You can't talk about something that you don't know. You have to understand how things work for you to talk about it. It's 101 marketing! Acknowledge the product (company) you are selling and communicate it well with the buyer (the interviewer).

How to make it right?

  • Research the company
  • Learn about its values, mission, and vision; you will need them later to answer some interview questions.

6.Not so good resume

Many people pay little attention to their resume, thinking that the only important thing is the interview itself. The interview is the second step after sending your resume. They want to have a general idea about what you have accomplished and some of your experiences that make you eligible for the job. 

How to make it right?

A tip that I have received from my Business Management teacher was this "while writing your birthday in your resume, don't write the full date. Instead, write how old you are." So I asked why? And she said, "the manager will probably have to go through over 70 resumes, and he/she will not waste his/her time calculating how old you are."

Few tips that could help you in writing your resume: 

  • Mention your top achievements
  • Mention experience that relates to the same field as the job you are applying for.
  • Write your name in capital letters, for example, "John Man" instead of "john man."
  • Don't mention your hobbies (it's not professional )

7.Not focusing

Imagine the interviewer asking you a long question, and you are not paying attention to what he/she said. You will be stressed and confused, and the interviewer will notice that. You won't be in a good spot after that. 

Some reasons you might not be paying attention: 

  • Tired 
  • Dehydrated
  • Not enough sleep

How to make it right?

  • Make sure you had a good night's sleep.
  • Make it a habit that you drink at least 2 liters of water. Why?
  • Start meditating to enhance your focus. Why?

8.Talking undelibrately

Every time I ask my dad a question, he will tell me everything but the answer. It became a family thing. We started avoiding asking him questions because he would talk forever without really answering the question. This case applies to the interviewer. The interviewer doesn't have the time to listen to your unrelated stories. 

Even if you want to talk more, talk deliberately and relatively.

How to make it right?

  • Get your answers structured into points before answering. Think before you speak.
  • Listen actively  

9.Not knowing the common interview questions

It's like taking an exam. Imagine taking an exam without doing practice tests to get comfortable with it? No matter how confident you are with your skills and abilities, it would be hard for you to hear the questions for the first time and answer them confidently. 

How to make it right?

  • Know the type of common questions and practice answering them

Here are some basic questions that often get asked in interviews:

  • Present yourself in a creative way
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why do you choose this job and this company?
  • What was the biggest challenge in your life?

10.Talking badly about your past emlpoyers

  • Badmouthing past employers isn't an effective strategy to get a job. It just shows how unforgiving you are. It also shows your immaturity. Plus, he/she would expect to do the same with him/her in the future.

How to make it right?

  • Simple, DON'T lousy mouth your past employers. XD

11.Having the wrong body language.

Crossed arms, crossed legs, avoiding eye contact, low voice, low energy, and many more are all negative body language. Body language shows that you not confident and that you are insecure. 

How to make it right?

Instead, have open or positive body language: 

  • Practice talking with your hands ( here is an excellent and funny guide to learn that)
  • Lean a little forward to the interviewer to show that you are friendly and confident.
  • SMILE! Is it too hard to do? As a golden rule, smile with your eyes ( use your face muscles )

12.Being the same as every applicant

Ever went demotivated, and one of your friends came to you and told you, "Everything happens for a reason." and you are like, "are you one of them?" Because you know that, and it simply won't change anything. The interviewer hates cliches because he/she heard them so many times that their job became so dull. 

How to make it right?

Your chance to make the interviewer smile and nod his head up and down has come.

  • Answer the questions creatively. How? Talk about your own experiences, because everybody's experience is different. ( Make sure you are relatable)
  • Show excitement while talking.


Lying is wrong, especially in an interview. It will be apparent because your body language will show the opposite of what you say. Unless you are a body language expert, but most of us aren't. 

How to make it right?

Again, my advice for you is NOT to lie. Simple, right?

  • The most important thing is to be authentic.

14.Being passive 

To be passive is to answer the question without explaining what you mean. For example, if the question was "what makes you great?".  Your answer was "because I am myself," with no further explanation, the interviewer would think you are arrogant, insecure, or don't know the answer to that question.

How to make it right?

  • If you say a general idea, you better support it with examples and details from your personal life that prove it.

15.Showing stress

Being overwhelmed or all over the place won't get you anywhere. If you don't know what to say, don't worry about it, I got your back.

How to make it right?

  • Keep silent for a moment.
  • Breathe in and out.
  • Think before you speak.

Bonus: Ask for feedback after your interview

Suppose you want to sharpen your interview skills. In that case, there is no better option than asking the interviewer and, of course, after the result, whether or not accepted.

Good questions: 

  • What could I improve?
  • What was good? 

Bonus: Virtual interviews

 I didn't forget about you people( who have virtual interviews ). I will give you a few tips that can help you:

  • Make sure that you are in a place with good lighting.
  • Avoid staying in places that have a lot of noise.
  •  Make sure that your upper body is visible so that you can show the use of your body language.
  • The camera angle is essential. Make sure that the Camera is at the same level as you.


These were the deal-breaker mistakes that prevent you from getting accepted in the job of your dreams. Now that you know the errors and solutions, what are you waiting for? 

But, wait! Before applying for that job,

 Do you want to  

  • Learn soft and hard skills?
  • Improve your Resume?
  • Get more job opportunities?

Great! Then apply for an Internship with aiesec ( get to know more about it) if you want to boost your career and increase your chances of getting that job that you want.

Nail that job of your dreams!

Click the link below if you are ready to accelerate your career

Written by
Aymen Jammali
My name is Aymen Jammali. I am an English student |Talent manager at AIESEC in Tunisia| & |Writer at AIESEC in Denmark & AIESEC International| In AIESEC, we work to fulfill young people's potential and give them opportunities to help them professionally and personally. |Personal development and Coffee Addict| My goal is to educate through my blogs in the simplest way possible. I write blogs that require minimum effort from the reader to understand. I am always trying my best until it becomes my standard(Striving for excellence)